10 Best Operations Management Books CEOs Read

In this article, we will show you a list of best operations management book that inspires CEOs of many world's leading enterprises to streamline the operations.

Finding the Best Operations Management Books

Are you an operations management executive who is trying to learn how to use operations management tools and techniques? If so, we believe an operations management textbook is the ideal resource for you. However, if you're a busy operations leader who would like to formulate sound operations strategies, we believe you need different resources. But, what kind of operations and production management book is used in the real world by successful business leaders?

We conduct a search over the Internet to find out if some business leaders and CEOs ever mention anything about the operations and production management books and the results are very interesting because there is a mix of both "classic" books in this field and nontraditional books on operations management.

10 Best Operations Management Books are as below:

  1. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox

  2. Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

  3. The Six Sigma Way: How to Maximize the Impact of Your Change and Improvement Efforts by Peter Pande et al

  4. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

  5. Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution by Michael Hammer and James Champy

  6. Competing Against Time: How Time-Based Competition is Reshaping Global Markets by George Stalk

  7. The Power of Resilience: How the Best Companies Manage the Unexpected by Yossi Sheffi

  8. The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail by Clayton Christensen

  9. Jack: Straight from the Gut by Jack Welch and John Byrne

  10. My Years with General Motors by Alfred Sloan

Interesting Statistics of Operations Management Books

- CEO's by Industry: according to our top list, 80% of the CEOs are from the manufacturing sector, which confirms the importance of operations management knowledge in a kind of business. OM concept can also be applied to the service industry (banking). The most important point is that even a CEO of one of the largest software firm in the world reads an operations and production management book.

- Type of Contents: six sigma has gained lots of attention in the service industry so there is no surprise that the CEO of a banking company chooses to read the operations and production management book by legendary six sigma advocate like Jack Welch (this book is not about statistics though-it's how GE strategically implements six sigma culture across the company).

Theory of Constraints and "The Goal" has been one of the most favorite System Thinking methodologies for practitioners and it's one of the best operations and production management books for MBA. CEO of one the largest e-commerce site in the world uses this book to lay the foundation for the future of the company.

The late CEO of a leading tech company recommended "The Innovator' Dilemma" by Clayton M. Christensen to everyone, if you would like to create products and services that rock, this is definitely a book for you.

CEO of the world's leading express transportation company realizes the importance of risks in business operations so he recommended a book about resilient operations.

A CEO of leading tech firm believes in time-based competition and he always says "Nobody wants to buy sour milk". To create a company-wide adoption of this concept, he distributes the book "Competing Against Time" to his colleagues.

The co-founder of one of the biggest social networks in the world is known to distribute "The Checklist Manifesto" to new staffs.

- Number of Citations: we ranked the books about supply chain management using citation counts before. So we would like to know how well the operations and production management books perform against the SCM book (from the citation analysis perspective).

The results are mind-blowing! The book "Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution" by Michael Hammer and James Champy get citation 3 times higher than the best book in supply chain management (this book is the highest cited the operations and production management books we've seen so far).

We believe that "practicality" of our top operations and production management books is the key. Because everyone (including academia) loves something simple but effective.

- Year of Publication: every operations and production management book mentioned here was published more than a decade ago. Are they still relevant to the modern business context?

We believe the classic operations and production management books like "The Six Sigma Way" by Peter Pande and Robert Neuman stands the test of time because the core lean concept doesn't change over the years. Anyway, 90% of the operations and production management books on our top list got updated via reprint edition. In short, they are relevant and don't lose touch with the modern business environment

Which one is your favorite operations management book and why?

- Sodhi, M. S., & Tang, C. S. (2008). The OR/MS ecosystem: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Operations Research, 56(2), 267-277.

Related Article
- 10 Best Supply Chain Management Books of All Time

Last review and update: August 19, 2018
About the Editor
Ben Benjabutr is the editor of SupplyChainOpz. He holds an M.Sc. in Logistics Management with 10+ years of experience in various functions in supply chain magement. In his free time, he enjoys reading business and management books. You can learn more about him here or connect with him via Twitter, and Quora or drop him a line via e-mail.